Happy Friday, View fans. These are my morning links. There are many like them, but these links are mine. And now they can be yours. Have a great weekend.
SAC Capital Advisors is thinking of changing its name “in part to forge a new identity following its legal battles,” according to the Wall Street Journal. You know what this means: It’s time for the twitterati to start coming up with some not-so-helpful suggestions. For instance, how about Black Edge Capital Advisors? Or Long Sentence Capital Management? Or Galleon Group? All we need is a catchy hashtag and this could be even more fun than that #AskJPM thing. Let’s try #SACNameChange and see how it goes.
This report by an obscure outfit named GeoInvesting sent shares of AmTrust Financial Services Inc. down 12 percent yesterday, which is pretty incredible considering that it doesn’t even identify the name of the person or people who wrote it. (Whoever posted it to the Seeking Alpha website did disclose that “I am short AFSI.”) Obviously Mr. Market saw something in the report’s criticisms of AmTrust’s accounting that he didn’t like. But I still find it fascinating that the modern-day equivalent of a street pamphleteer can knock a stock around like this. It’s worth a read, as an example of the sort of research that’s moving markets these days. Also see the second link, which takes you to Seeking Alpha’s policy on anonymous authors.
Floyd Norris says it’s no fun to be a banker these days
Back in 2002, when Xerox Corp. settled an accounting-fraud case with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it paid a $10 million fine, which was a record. Now even a $1 billion settlement is considered puny for regulators when it comes to large banks. The New York Times columnist writes: “It may not be easy to be sympathetic to the big banks, but it is easy to understand their surprise and frustration. They have gone from being viewed as national champions -- proof of a country’s standing in the world -- to being seen as a potential source of national disaster.”
What’s a Slovenian with money in the bank supposed to do?
Make sure it’s all covered by deposit insurance. If it’s not, then spread the money around among multiple banks so it is. Or move it out of the country. Most importantly, learn from what happened earlier this year in Cyprus, where lots of customers’ uninsured deposits got confiscated. Why bring this up now? Here’s the headline from the Guardian: “Slovenia banking debts raise fears of EU bailout.” Slovenia told the European Union yesterday that its banking sector is ailing and needs 4.8 billion euros ($6.6 billion) of fresh capital.
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)